Tag: saratoga springs

Big Week for Tech Valley!

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October is looking to be a big month for tech workers in the Capital Region – in particular the week of the fifth – with the first Level Up Conference taking place on Wednesday and Thursday (10/8 – 10/9), and also the first ever WordCamp Saratoga taking place on Saturday (10/11), there is an awful lot of potential for professional education, personal networking and of course, beers with friends old and new.

For those of you who are running the full gauntlet, Sharatoga Coworking in downtown Saratoga is also offering a free co-working day in their Broadway shared office space for folks who will be in town for both events!

Hopefully this can grow into an annual Power Week for technology workers in our area – it’s great to be a part of a growing community with this kind of energy!

Full disclosure: I am speaking at LevelUp, organizing WordCamp, and am a founding member of Sharatoga. I do not have a financial interest in any of these events or organizations.

Please Don’t Forget Work Life Balance

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Fingerpaint, an advertising agency here in Saratoga Springs recently published an article about the idea of work life balance on their company blog – here’s a link.

Given my obsession with The Work, this is something of real interest to me. I’m a huge Fingerpaint fan – their offices are beautiful, their work is lovely, and they are great members of the greater Saratoga Springs community. I can see their office from my perch at Sharatoga even!

I think that Jason and I fundamentally agree – life has to be about more than The Work, and the only way that you’re going to find meaning in your life outside of work alone is by pursuing some kind of balance. He says;

Work hard at work but be smart about it and then leave it there.

and

When you’re done you’re done. Go home. Turn it off.

These sound like the kind of things you’d hear from a man who was a strong proponent of finding a work life balance, right? Someone who really believes in keeping work at work. Interestingly, Jason tells us that we should look instead to abandon the idea of a work life balance;

Because no matter how hard you plan, you will never achieve “balance.” You will always regret not spending enough time with your significant other or your kids, or seeing friends or family members. I believe this is something called human nature.

I think this might be where we split in our thinking. I don’t think living without regret and having a job you love are mutually exclusive, and I think that finding some sort of balance between what you do for a living and what you do that really rings your bell is a huge piece of a fulfilling life. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that also helps fulfill you in non-bill-paying ways, even better.

If your work environment is causing you to miss things you’d rather not miss, important things like family events, things that you will regret? That’s either an unhealthy work environment or you have an unhealthy relationship with it. You should find a solution either way.

Leave work at work, definitely. Live in the moment, absolutely. But don’t think for a moment that you need to accept missing out on things that are important to you* – that’s not accepting a brave new world, that’s holding on to The Old Ways.

I’d recommend keeping an eye on this tenuous balance, and protecting it with vigilance and vigor. This is your only life, after all, and work is just work.

 

* – Kids recitals, not Warped Tour dates. Unless you’re playing in the Warped Tour, then that’s pretty cool actually.

 

Looking for a Coworking Space

One of the many and varied benefits of working for Automattic is their support for co-working spaces – given that we all work from any flat surface with a wireless signal, it’s often nice to find a spot that is not your home where you can get down to business. This might be because you have kids at home, or you’re trying to maintain work hygiene, or just because you like it – like anything, the reasons will depend on who you ask and what day it is.

The tricky part is finding a good space – we don’t have any real dedicated co-working spaces in Saratoga Springs, though we do have some office farms and other rental options – what we lack is the kind of open floor plan, both work-and-social kind of combination of table-share and mental catalyst. A place for combinations. While there are places with the appropriate footprint, the cost to rent or other factors have driven Team Sharatoga away from leasing a number of offices in town – a three year lease, for instance, is a scary proposition for an untested model.

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Inspired by Bob Horan’s move to open his unused classrooms to local businesses, I’ve reached out to the Business program at Skidmore College – it seems that maybe a similar arrangement with them could be mutually beneficial. Get students closer to folks working in cutting-edge fields, provide some space for those people to work in an academic setting. I’m meeting with them tomorrow.